Turpentine Wind

by Kurt Swinghammer

supported by
Pete Kowalsky
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Pete Kowalsky Owen Sound has the coolest chord progressions I've heard in a while. Swinghammer hits this album outta the park with some fun whimsical tunes and more amazing treats as well. Great stuff, sir. :) Favorite track: Owen Sound.
Christopher Lalonde
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Christopher Lalonde The romantic notion of going out into the forest to create a worthy masterpiece is juxtaposed with the reality of trying to earn a living as a commercial artist - did Kurt let himself down, or his idol? The lyrics and music are an ear smorgasbord. Favorite track: Fine Art of Selling Out.


released May 19, 2011

Lyrics and music by Kurt Swinghammer
Produced by Michael Phillip Wojewoda

Kurt Swinghammer - vocals, guitars, banjo, marimba, vibraphone, omnichord, harmonicas, theramin, kalimba, vocoder, organ, discClavier.
Maury Lafoy - bass.
Mark Mariash - drums.
David Matheson - keyboards.

Fergus Hambleton - clarinet.
Ben Grossman - hurdy gurdy.
Jeff Burke - bassoon, penny whistle.
Lori Cullen - backing vocals.
Kevin O'Leary - Algonquin Park & downtown Toronto field recordings.

Recorded at Canterbury Sound - engineered by Jeremy Darby.
Engineered and mixed by Michael Phillip Wojewoda.
Mastered by Joao Carvalho.


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Kurt Swinghammer Toronto, Ontario

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Track Name: Owen Sound
Owen Sound - lyrics

Sound, Owen Sound
Off the bay
Through the town
On the wind
In the ground
Old Bruce Grey
Calling Down
To the harbour of Georgian water blue
With elated dreams
As lovers fall asleep
And swim beneath the night
Towards the sound

Sound, Owen Sound
From the north
Southward bound
Glaciers came
Then turned around
And left a cleft
Where life was found
In the harbour of Georgian water blue
With elated dreams
As a young boy falls asleep
And swims towards the light
Towards the sound
Track Name: Doodle Head
Doodle Head - lyrics

A brand new day is an empty page
Fill it up and sign it with your age
Playing hockey and war is such a bore
Compared to the pictures you have made
God bless bees cus bees make wax
Wax makes crayons that come in packs
Of 25 lively colours

There's a world beyond the lawn
Waiting to be drawn
If you don't like what you see
Doodleloot do all you can be
Doodle head

Look real hard in your back yard
And see a frame around the trees
The land will always draw you too
One can't erase these memories
God bless trees cus trees make pulp
Pulp makes paper to colour up
In pages by the hundreds

They say Superman really is Canadian
He just went south to get a gig
Track Name: Yellow Ochre Yonge
Yellow Ochre Yonge - lyrics

On the path of least resistance
the laws of nature guide you there
To the north shore of a great lake
with a big smoke stead of air
Off of offices and wet sweat shops
a stew of studios and factories
Where perspiration smells like hope
like fossil fuel to machinery

From charcoal to Venetian oil
From black and white to a summer palette bright
Yellow ochre Yonge goes down
To neon Hogtown

On the corner by the plaza
with the Mephisto blues again
To a sculpture carved in butter
of the Beatles in Pierre Cardin
All the piggies in this city
know exactly who they are
Some are slaughtered for another supper
some work at the abattoir

From charcoal to the table
From black and white to a summer Friday night

To an illuminated land
where Sam The Record Man
Is there to shake your hand
every Saturday
Cross-town on Bloor
Honest Ed is at the door
With free turkeys for the poor
on the holidays

Yellow ochre Yonge goes down
To neon Hogtown
Track Name: Lily of The 401
Lily Of The 401 - lyric

Long ago at the AGO
Saw my very first art show
The west wind nearly knocked me down
Blew me straight past Harold Towne

Take the Gardiner to the Don
Plant bulbs till the day is done
Everyone will be turned on
For Lilly of the 401

Two lips I could kiss so long
Tiny Tim t’would sing his song
Petals on a pillowcase
Frame a daydream of her face

Does a happy home await your car
Or are you alone in your boudoir
Either way you are a muse
So be amused while I play the blues

Take the Gardiner to the Don
Plant bulbs till the day is done
Everyone will be turned on
For Lilly of the 401
Track Name: Illustrating Man
Illustrating Man - lyric

Written in his eyes
sketched on his skin
Permanent dyes
seep deep within
Read between the lines
see where he's been
illustrating man
The never-ending tale
the story of old
A miracle for sale
that never should be sold
If intervention fails
don't say that you weren't told
illustrating man

Whatever happened to the dream
That you packed in a khaki green knapsack
With some brushes and paints
Now there's a noisy neighbor overhead
A monkey on your back
And a prayer to patron saints

In Kensington skies
a hard luck moon
A squeegee kid tries
to liberate a loon
A car alarm cries
a wilderness tune
illustrating man

Whatever happened to your idealism?
Well I've got a hunch - the dream was just about pipes
Now the mega city is a prison without a free lunch
And you don't look good in stripes

A net of telephone wires
and streetcar lines
Trapped and for hire
in a web of compromise
Follow your desire
get out while your alive
illustrating man
Track Name: Evergreen
Evergreen - lyric

For every colour that
That May will sing
Stay evergreen

Summer Fall Winter and
Every spring
Stay evergreen
Track Name: Dangling Pine
Dangling Pine

Out on the corner
hand in the air
Hailing a cab
to take him somewhere
Climb in the back
and he's suddenly there
From the sweet perfume
It gets stronger
with every breath
He can remember
each little death
The way she looked
each time he left
That candle lit room

Artificial saccharine scent
Triggering these past events inside

Dangling pine from the rear view mirror
Brings her to mind he can almost see her
Take a look behind she's nowhere near
Dangling pine

The abstract expressionist
up in the sky
Splashes colours of passion
on leaves as they die
It's there to capture
and he valiantly tries
Day after day
One taxi driver
in Algonquin Park
One taxidermist
looking for Noah's Ark
One tax on love
and it'll break your heart
When it comes time to pay

Can't see the forest for the insect guts
Where are squeegee kids when you need their touch divine
Track Name: Fine Art of Selling Out
Autumn night
Alchemy of cold
Jack frost white
Changing leaves to gold
Fall is the season it all becomes clear
The calling and following leading you here
Echoing deeper into the interior forest
The test of a man manifest on a canvas
A looking glass lake with an upside down surface
Dragging a brush through the mirror veneer of wilderness

But the masterpiece is in doubt
Now you've mastered with ease
The fine art of selling out

West wind blow
Jack pine bow with grace
Northern soul
Wears a weathered face
Diluting the watercolours with antifreeze
Deluding yourself through chattering teeth
Pretty soon you'll be so numb you won't feel anything
The paradox of paradise
As isolation turns to ice
Nobodies there to notice the fire isn't burning

And the masterpiece is in doubt
Now you've mastered with ease
The fine art of selling out
Track Name: Ultramarine

The blues came in an undertow
Taking him down below
Where he’d seen in dreams

A drop of life a drowning wave
A water womb and grave
Everything between

sound flowing through his head
siren of a lake bed
Singing so serene

Till glacial tears crystallize
Or disappear in a desert dry
Blood of Evergreen
Track Name: Canoe Lake
Heart of the forest
Soul of the land
Body of water
Body of a man

The bottom was clear
The sky was opaque
They found a canoe
On Canoe Lake

Some say it tipped over
Some say suicide
Or that some jealous lover
Made sure someone died

He studied the light
From a bed of sand
And forgot to reach out
For Jesus's hand
Track Name: Northern Shield
Northern Shield - lyric

If you're alone
Don't be afraid
For you're protected by
The Northern Shield

I stand on guard
On guard for thee
You will be safe behind
The Northern Shield

They'll tear a strip out of the wilderness
And slice right through these walls of stone
So every Dick and Jane can proclaim their love again
In Day-Glo aerosol and the disappearing ozone

What has defaced
Will be erased
Restore the grandeur of
The Northern Shield

Always be
Strong free
For you're protected by
The Northern Shield
Track Name: Turpentine Wind
Turpentine Wind - lyric

the end begins with the turpentine wind of winter
dissolving leaves of deciduous trees to vapor
cleaning rag clear-cut the colours of fall
drag the lake wipe out the sky
till there's nothing left at all
taken down

the end begins with the turpentine wind of winter
spirits sting nicks in the skin then enter
A knife is raised
to scrape away all tell tale signs
A life erased
the scratches and crosshatches
line by line
taken down
down to the white gesso ground

white as bone
white as snow
white as sound

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